Monday, January 25, 2010

Unmaking Remaking Redemption and Loss

I have been watching (through my fingers and with breath held) as a friend as undertaken to remake her relationship with her somewhat estranged family.

She found, as all of those of us mildly estranged from our families do, that in order to fit back in as a member in good standing, we must give up on our claims of reparation. That is to say, we cannot hope to be right and regain our position. It is, in fact, an either or. Inside, you will have to pretend or accept the rewritten history where you wronged them, where you walked away petulantly, where you chose selfishly for yourself over the good of the group. There will be no apologies, other than the ones you will offer. Reconciliation is not really the appropriate term, but I struggle to find the right one.

So, she is living the rewritten history and has been welcomed back into the fold. (I can't help but imagine, though, that they keep a watchful, wary eye on her for signs of treason.) She enjoys the lavish motherly concern she was once denied, or should I play along and say that she once denied herself. She enjoys the sibling togetherness and familiarity you cannot always achieve with friends. She endures with little complaint the same indignities she once fled from.

I wonder and I question my judgement of her actions -- is this an accurate account or do I exaggerate because I won't trade righteousness for family warmth. Then again my family never offered that kind of warmth - real or imagined.

Mostly I worry for my beautiful, contradictory, talented, intelligent, indeed precocious - even in her 30's, and vulnerable friend. What happens to your soul when you rewrite history in this way? What redemption do you give up when you don't acknowledge that pain? How great is the loss when you deny yourself the right to be wronged?


Location:Central Ave SE,Albuquerque,United States

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Recap - long, moderately interesting

3198 miles later...
So, after several exasperating trips to bureaucratic offices, I was able to register my car and get my nm license. (The hold up was that I needed to present my social security card which I could not find.). I had one more stop - AAA because somehow I had managed to let the membership lapse. That little side trip turned into a long, seemingly neverending ordeal. And what's worse when I went to look for my expired AAA card, I found the ss card. Yup, the one I had to get replaced just days before. Ah well, who thought to look in the car for the ss card? Not me.

Leg one -- albuquerque to las vegas ... Should have been an easy 8 to 9 hour drive. But apparently I don't get easy. So only 80 miles out of ABQ I 40 is shut down in both directions. An hour or so later, it took a long time to just exit the hwy, I am back on the road in the opposite direction. Only one stop, thankfully, to a roundabout detour on a two lane road. It sounded worse than it was, actually, and it took me through some gorgeous country. Made me wish, again, that I had a camera.

Thanks to my sis for guiding me to a starbucks in Flagstaff so I got a little caffeine boost - and gassed up at a safeway and bought a sandwich.

I rolled into town late but got an hour back and was able to join my family at dinner - though I had already eaten so I just had some lovely Malbec. It turns out it was the beginning of my wine tour!

LV - personal Dexter marathon (end of season three and all of season four), Thai lunch, enchilada making, Christmas shopping at the outlets ...and a little work.

Leg two -- las vegas to oxnard with my sister. This actually would require a post for itself, but I am going to keep it to myself; so, I brought David Sedaris and choice This American Life for my sis to hear. She laughed until she decided to nap. Thankfully she knows where all the s'bucks are along this route. Arrived just in time to cook the enchiladas.

Christmas, movie outing with my nephew, quality and quantity time with said nephew, cooking and laundry for my pops, impromptu wine tasting and dinner with my bro and sis-in-law. Sore throat and sleeping, too.

On the road again...
Leg three -- Oxnard to gilroy. Quick and easy drive to friend's new house. Visiting, working, breakfast in bed (how did I score such a wonderful friend?), kid time, lost voice, start of a cold... Did not let it slow me down! Maybe I should have. Wine tour of Gilroy, starting to sense a theme here?

Leg four -- gilroy to Oakland.
Quick and dirty especially since at this point I had lost my voice and yet was trying to make plans to see everyone and it was new year's eve. There were bar visits, dinners, lunches, coffees and, of course, a trip to wine country. Sadly the lost voice became a hacking cough and so no baby visits.

Leg five -- Oakland to Oxnard via the scenic route (read coast hwy from Monterey) with a quick stop in Gilroy. You'll have to check the blog for the word postcards I posted from the road. Gorgeous but long day driving -- ten hours later I pulled in to more laundry for my pops.

Quick side trip to Los Angeles to see Culture Clash with college friend, pick up my mom from her trip to Mexico with my brother's family, and a trip to vinotemp's showroom to pick out a wine fridge. (Still waiting on the delivery.)

A few more days in Oxnard to cook for my parents, hang out with friends and family (read more wine drinking), and resting up for the last two legs. Snuck in a long walk on the beach.

Leg six -- Oxnard to Las Vegas
Just a drop in -- menacing clouds, high winds, finally rain and more wind, rolled in with enough time to do a little work before a family dinner. Last night of cable tv for a while.

Leg seven -- Las Vegas to Albuquerque (home)
None of the forecasted rain or snow anywhere in sight. Long but easy drive through Flagstaff (hour break to charge phone and iPod) and made it into town by 8:30p. I used the car as my phone booth and connected with a bunch of folks. Excellent use of car time!!

Seen from the road between Grants and Albuquerque:

Is it constitutional?

I don't get it either. Glad not to be driving anymore. Finally broke down and bought gas today -- I guess signalling my intention to contemplate drives longer than 10 minutes again.

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Devil on P.R.'s bullshit

From Tafari's blog, honestly the best response to the Pat Robertson mess that I have seen -- though I must admit I have been avoiding all mention of that demon's name ... a must read (click the link if you want to see all of Tafari's commentary on the matter -- truly worth reading as well):

Tafari "spotted this very witty note from the devil to Pat Robertson written by Lily Coyle, of Minneapolis on NPR’s website.

'Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action.

But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.

Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"?

If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it - I'm just saying: Not how I roll.

You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.
Best, Satan'"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My favorite crow

Fall of 2008 I went on a twenty-one day car trip with my parents. You may remember if you were reading the blog then, I am sure I must have mentioned it. All three of us survived, though I will admit that there were several tense moments. The best day, by far, was the day we spent in the petrified forest.

If you haven't visited there, I encourage the road trip. Even if it means several days trapped in a car with your parents -- you know the ones who used to be adults and now act like children.

While driving through, my dad spotted some crows sitting in the shade of a tractor. He told me to give them a treat. I knew we should not feed the animals in a national park. I have read the stories about bear #6531 who became accustomed to human food and then had to be relocated when he couldn't be broken of the habit of pulling of car doors to get to coolers full of chips and beer and leftover pizza if they were lucky.

Surely crows would not suffer this same fate if I just gave them a little dried cranberry from our healthy trail mix!? (healthy snacks is an entire other blog post I cannot attempt just now with my tender feelings still a wreck from these last few days trying to teach my parents healthy eating -- really only refreshing their memories.). Well, those park rangers know of what they speak when it comes to feeding the animals and probably many other topics.

I gave up the cranberry or two, afterall they weren't going to share the one. And they accepted agreeably. Hopping over to pick it up and cocking their heads up in recognition.
Little did I know that they were actually memorizing my car's looks and probably the license plate.

At each subsequent pull out(for that is how one tours the petrified forest) there he would be, waiting for his treat. At one point my mom got a photo of him flying along side our car. [sorry somehow I can't find that one...]

Well we appreciated his earnestness and industrious commitment to us, it was clear we should stop feeding him or risk his having to be relocated --and featured in the next newsletter.

At least it was clear to me. My father was so tickled he wanted to keep on feeding him, though not proffering treats did not dissuade his attentions to us.

As I drove near the petrified forest on my way to California this past December I swore I saw him following me again.

Perhaps he has not forgotten us!! As I approach there again on my way back to Albuquerque I am smiling at all his brethren and wondering how he's doing.

Location:Starbucks, Flagstaff,AZ

Sunday, January 10, 2010


you just have to rant ... despite my attempts at feeling deep compassion I also feel frustrated and disappointed. Somehow having the strength to do things like insist that my parents eat more healthily for their own good makes me a bad person ...

yeah... there is more, but this is not fun for me or interesting for anyone...

update -- then she had special requests, somewhat predictable, why am I always surprised?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mondo Beyondo -- for real this time...

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2009?
(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

2. What is there to grieve about 2009?
(What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

So many things left to do, but not before I can declare 2009 complete. Moving forward; looking back only lovingly as part of the release.

Did you hear me say: "I declare 2009 complete!" I did it.

The final step is to consider your primary focus for the year to come. What is your primary intention or theme for 2009? Is it the year of joy? the year of self-care? the year of partnership? Stand up and say it proud, "2009 is my year of...."

AUTHENTICITY.... there, I said that too. It has taken me quite a long time to get this post finished... but today, I feel confident that this is the right word and the best primary focus I could have for 2010.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

On the road (postcard #2)

Stopped to eat my sandwich just into San Luis Opisbo county. Decided for the vista spot. Never has a sign been truer!

Elephant seals in every direction. Lazing on the beach, playing in the water, talking (loudly-not sure they have an inside voice) to each other and no one in particular. A walk farther out on the point brought some very large bird, maybe a condor (probably a turkey vulture).

The elephant seals are huge! They float in the water with little waves breaking over them. Sticking their tails or heads of both up from time to time -- and there is clearly six to eight feet between said head and tail. I assume those are the mature bulls. On the shore or just in the water they let the water splash over only stopping to look up if there is a human too close by.

You see a rock sticking out of the water, but then it moves - it is not a rock. Then the head is thrown back and a deep throaty bellow calls out. Or the elephant like snout release air blowing up like a huge balloon and flaring enormous nostrils.

Wish I knew what they were saying!

Ah Wildlife!

Word postcard from the road

The mountains to the left, the ocean to the right. A thin band of fog hugs the coast. The sun is beaming through beautiful clouds.

There is construction on the road, so I am stopped momentarily and I can take in the breathtaking beauty ( and write this).

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Vacation so far

In no particular order...
Wine tasting (3x in one week)
Mimosas and comadreando
Movies, movies, movies
Christmas date with my nephew
Making special Cole slaw for my pops
Dexter marathon
Ikea adventure
Many cafe breaks sometimes with friends and sometimes alone
Catching up with good friends
Dancing at the gay bar (gay bar)
Catching up on my newspaper reading!!
Nye at the grand tavern

In the not too distant future:
Culture Clash!!
Beach day
2nd Christmas with the family
Wine fridge shopping
Catching up with SoCal friends
Much more driving...

Location:41st St,Oakland,United States

Monday, January 04, 2010

Scene from Cafe Trieste's window

The mailman has a shadow today. Can't tell how he feels about that.